Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense

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Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History | 4/13 - The Value of Longevity & Defense 

Post#1 » by SideshowBob » Mon Dec 4, 2017 4:14 pm

ElGee's doing a comprehensive updated career value list series on his site. Introduction was posted today (12/11/17) and he will be frequently be making posts over the course of the 2017-2018 Regular Season (per the schedule listed below).


Full Schedule with Links



Closing: The Value of Longevity and Defense
------------------------------------

Spreadsheet comparing 2014 list vs. 2017 list
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#2 » by eminence » Mon Dec 4, 2017 4:30 pm

Really enjoyed it, excellent look at Wilt's offense. Wish he'd dived in on his defense more. And if anyone hasn't read it his "Visual History of Spacing" article is one of my absolute favorites.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#3 » by PCProductions » Mon Dec 4, 2017 5:18 pm

Super excited about this. Wilt is the perfect player to start a series like this with.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#4 » by ThaRegul8r » Tue Dec 5, 2017 12:04 am

I imagine this will be controversial if the right people see it.

I'm assuming there are nine players who stand out from the rest of the pack since the series begins at #9 rather than the conventional #10? (Of course I realize no one here can answer that, I'm just musing aloud. ["Aloud" of course being a figure of speech, since I'm typing it.])

EDIT: I was looking through my notes for something unrelated, and saw that ElGee said after the Retro Player of the Year Project, "Tier 3 makes me think if there is an 'Immortal Anything,' it would be an Immortal 9." That was in 2010, so in the seven years since then LeBron would join that group, and it was about three years ago I believe that he said Magic and Bird had fallen, and Garnett's probably in that group now.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#5 » by toodles23 » Tue Dec 5, 2017 12:37 am

Fascinating article by Elgee there - and yeah, I can imagine there are going to be some Wilt fans are going to be angry if they see this.

Looking forward to the rest of these.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#6 » by homecourtloss » Tue Dec 5, 2017 12:49 am

SideshowBob wrote:ElGee's doing an updated career value list on his site. Seems like its going to be daily updates, starting today with a huge article on his #9, Wilt. I will keep this thread up to date.

The list:

#9 GOAT: Wilt Chamberlain


------------------------------------

I have not dove in yet but I think we can generate plenty of discussion out of this and whatever proceeds. At the end he provides Wilt's yearly rankings ITO title odds (which I know what everyone's looking forward to :lol: ), so I presume the same for upcoming articles.

Precursor from this weekend:

I took a fresh look at everyone, and I think you saw a lot of stuff about the '16 season that others didn't. Without spoiling anything, I'll say this about these two guys: If Curry remained healthy in 2016, he would have finished with a top-5 peak for me. As for LeBron, his evolution has been incredible to study, I think he has SIX legit seasons that are in the running for his peak, and most of them for different reasons. On offense, I think 2014 was his peak, but 2016 right behind. His evolution largely has to do with his shot-selection and passing, which has made his game more portable/scalable.

I've also brought my scale in a little, as I no longer feel it's plausible for so many players in history to have 7-point impact. I think many players can have 7, 8 or even 9-point impact in the right situation, but their impact on so many other normal teams would be like 4-6 points, bringing down the average.


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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#7 » by Zeitgeister » Tue Dec 5, 2017 1:00 am

I really enjoyed reading that. I'll definitely keep up with this, very well researched and informative.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#8 » by Dipper 13 » Tue Dec 5, 2017 2:32 am

Very detailed article, looking forward to the rest of the rankings/evaluations. I disagree about the footwork (at least before his knee injury) but that makes sense given the limited footage. The traveling clip was definitely a bad call, even by 1964 standards. Wilt had very long legs that could cover an enormous amount of ground in just one step and a very high shot release. I just wish he didn't rely on that fadeaway so much.

But in reading the article, i recall when Wilt was criticizing KAJ or Shaq, it was almost always regarding their defensive effort. I don't remember reading where he criticized their offense much at all. Plus he said the 90s would suit him better than the 60s did. Everyone assumed he was talking about the boxscore averages and he played along with it, saying he would average 70 ppg. However I believe he was referring to offensive impact given his goliath complex would likely not be an issue in the 90s. I'm sure his defense would have still been terrific given the far slower pace as well. Less transition and not as many big men floor spacers would play right to his defensive strengths, not to mention his rebounding which would help control pace. Many bigs would be in foul trouble just attempting to keep him off the glass.

After retirement it seems Wilt somewhat conceded that his offensive approach could have been better. In a 1996 interview he said that he came into the league as a defensive stopper, also noting that scoring was SECONDARY for him :o, he enjoyed playing defense much more.


Spoiler:
Q: You dominated from the onset of your career. Did you feel that you could do whatever you wanted to on the court?

A: I felt like the pro game was more of a game that I wanted to play, that was suited to my style. I left college a year early because they used stall tactics... at that time there was no (shot) clock. They knew that the only way to stop me from scoring points and getting rebounds was just not to shoot the ball. So I was looking forward to getting into the pros, where they had the clock and I knew they had to run. They also had no zone defenses, and I was looking forward to playing one-on-one against the best guys in the world. They gave me a chance to run a lot, and I really liked running. I came into the NBA as a defensive player. I used to like to go up and grab balls in the air. Everyone was afraid of my defensive game more so than my scoring game.


Q: But it was the scoring that attracted the headlines, right?

A: Like it is today, and always will be... whomever can hit the most home runs, has the highest batting average, or can score the most points gets the headlines. Defense was secondary in the minds of the press. Many of the people came out to watch the score. I really enjoyed playing defense more. Scoring was a secondary thing, but it was also very natural to me.


Q: Physically, what made you special?

A: The fact that I was a shot putter in high school and college which most people don't know. I was an undefeated shot putter. I had this thing about going out and becoming strong. I was always a skinny, skinny kid and I could jump to the moon, I could run as fast as the wind, but I had this thing about wanting to be strong. It had nothing to do with pushing people around. I was pushing this iron ball around and that helped make me much stronger and agile as an athlete. When I got into the pros all the bigger boys that I played against used to beat me up a lot 'cause I was 180 pounds at 6-11, and they were five, 10 years older than I was. They took advantage of me but when I got a little older I always said, "I'm going to get them back." When I got into the pros, I was never, ever physically afraid of anybody, but it wasn't as much a physical thing. I learned my game in the school yards and we like to consider ourselves as having heart. And heart doesn't come in body size. It comes inside.


Q: How did that feel to know that you were basically unstoppable?

A: That is something that I really loved. I loved the fact that no one could really block my shot. I jumped so high that there was nothing that they could do. When you have no fear, it's just going to make you much better at what you're doing. My ability to jump so high gave me such an advantage. People say "OK, he's 7-foot tall, he should be able to do whatever he wants," but I'm also getting 50 inches off the ground on a vertical! (laughs) This puts me so far above people. So, while they were reaching for the ball this way, I was going on top of them and just taking it out of their hands. It gave me a sense of superiority. What hurt me was that I wanted to be a consummate basketball player, and I wanted to be able to shoot the ball instead of just taking it to the basket and dunk it like I should have. I was shooting fadeaway shots, hook shots, finger-rolls... whatever came to my mind that I thought would be pleasing. A lot of times that was a negative more than a positive. If I just went out and took it to the basket every time I'd have averaged 70 or 80 points a game.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#9 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Dec 5, 2017 4:23 am

I've been waiting for this. ElGee's doing something huge. I hope it goes viral.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#10 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Dec 5, 2017 4:35 am

ThaRegul8r wrote:I imagine this will be controversial if the right people see it.

I'm assuming there are nine players who stand out from the rest of the pack since the series begins at #9 rather than the conventional #10? (Of course I realize no one here can answer that, I'm just musing aloud. ["Aloud" of course being a figure of speech, since I'm typing it.])


He's starting with Wilt, because Wilt is the best place to start.
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Re: Backpicks GOAT / ElGee's Career Value List 

Post#11 » by Jaivl » Tue Dec 5, 2017 2:32 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:I've been waiting for this. ElGee's doing something huge. I hope it goes viral.

You bet I sent it to all my friends interested in bball.
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History 

Post#12 » by SideshowBob » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:56 pm

Full introduction posted today. This is going to be a comprehensive top 40 careers series that he will update over the full course of the 2017-18 regular season.

First real update is #30, scheduled for this Thursday.

Opening post updated with full schedule.
But in his home dwelling...the hi-top faded warrior is revered. *Smack!* The sound of his palm blocking the basketball... the sound of thousands rising, roaring... the sound of "get that sugar honey iced tea outta here!"
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History 

Post#13 » by eminence » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:06 pm

SideshowBob wrote:Full introduction posted today. This is going to be a comprehensive top 40 careers series that he will update over the full course of the 2017-18 regular season.

First real update is #30, scheduled for this Thursday.

Opening post updated with full schedule.


Looks like it'll be fun :)

Though that schedule, will have to keep track of that
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#14 » by colts18 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:03 pm

Does ElGee still read this board?

If so, I want to know more about his film study methods. How confident is he in his ability to study film and determine a players greatness from it? He would rightfully blast coaches/players who use the eye test. But, Elgee is using the same methodology for his list. He is watching the same film. Why is he confident that he can interpret that same film better than a coach could?
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#15 » by SideshowBob » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:12 pm

colts18 wrote:Does ElGee still read this board?

If so, I want to know more about his film study methods. How confident is he in his ability to study film and determine a players greatness from it? He would rightfully blast coaches/players who use the eye test. But, Elgee is using the same methodology for his list. He is watching the same film. Why is he confident that he can interpret that same film better than a coach could?


Yeah, he responded to a post in the Peaks Project thread last week. Though he said he's more responsive on twitter.
But in his home dwelling...the hi-top faded warrior is revered. *Smack!* The sound of his palm blocking the basketball... the sound of thousands rising, roaring... the sound of "get that sugar honey iced tea outta here!"
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#16 » by ZemGOAT » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:20 pm

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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#17 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:28 pm

colts18 wrote:Does ElGee still read this board?

If so, I want to know more about his film study methods. How confident is he in his ability to study film and determine a players greatness from it? He would rightfully blast coaches/players who use the eye test. But, Elgee is using the same methodology for his list. He is watching the same film. Why is he confident that he can interpret that same film better than a coach could?


From time to time he does. He was certainly paying attention toward the beginning of the Top 100 project.

ElGee has always been someone much more comfortable with the eye test than your average analytics guy. He's someone who back in high school would go watch his competitors play and scout them before he played against them so he's been scouting since before he had access to any of this data.

It's also worth noting his poker background. To really thrive in online poker you have to quickly form assessments of those you play against, and that's really damn hard when they don't have faces and you're playing in multiple tables at the same time. What it means is that in addition to being able to read people and do the probability, you also have to have an excellent memory.

This is something I take note of because it's something that really helps some athletes (LeBron's memory is said to be astonishing)...and I personally don't have it. So with ElGee you've got someone who knows what he's looking for, and who remembers how different players look in similar situations, or how the same player looks as he ages. So when he's watching Wilt's highlights, the fact that he's doing something different from the previous year just pops right out to him, which makes the video editing process much simpler.

As far as being confident he can see better than coaches can, I don't think he'd claim that in general. That's where the analytics and more nuanced chronological analysis comes in. A player's career is more than his skillset, much to Melo's chagrin, and so no matter how good of a scout you are, you can still have a crappy GOAT list.
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#18 » by trex_8063 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:19 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
It's also worth noting his poker background. To really thrive in online poker you have to quickly form assessments of those you play against, and that's really damn hard when they don't have faces and you're playing in multiple tables at the same time. What it means is that in addition to being able to read people and do the probability, you also have to have an excellent memory.


Bit of a derail, but most online poker rooms allow you to quickly put player notes on to anyone you're playing against (often allows for color-coding opponents too, according to color-code labels you yourself define); these notes and color-codes will then be there at any future session in perpetuity. So you don't necessarily have to rely solely on memory.
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#19 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:37 am

trex_8063 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
It's also worth noting his poker background. To really thrive in online poker you have to quickly form assessments of those you play against, and that's really damn hard when they don't have faces and you're playing in multiple tables at the same time. What it means is that in addition to being able to read people and do the probability, you also have to have an excellent memory.


Bit of a derail, but most online poker rooms allow you to quickly put player notes on to anyone you're playing against (often allows for color-coding opponents too, according to color-code labels you yourself define); these notes and color-codes will then be there at any future session in perpetuity. So you don't necessarily have to rely solely on memory.


Shows how little I know, thanks trex.

But trust me, dude's got a good memory.
In another world...
Your Longshoremen of Long Beach...

And now introducing...
The Song of Westeros...
LeBron James
John Stockton
Bobby Jones
Rudy Gobert
Khris Middleton
Connie Hawkins
Otto Porter
Ryan Anderson
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Re: The Backpicks GOAT: The 40 Best Careers in NBA History (ElGee) 

Post#20 » by trex_8063 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:11 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
trex_8063 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
It's also worth noting his poker background. To really thrive in online poker you have to quickly form assessments of those you play against, and that's really damn hard when they don't have faces and you're playing in multiple tables at the same time. What it means is that in addition to being able to read people and do the probability, you also have to have an excellent memory.


Bit of a derail, but most online poker rooms allow you to quickly put player notes on to anyone you're playing against (often allows for color-coding opponents too, according to color-code labels you yourself define); these notes and color-codes will then be there at any future session in perpetuity. So you don't necessarily have to rely solely on memory.


Shows how little I know, thanks trex.

But trust me, dude's got a good memory.


Not to derail further (sorry everyone), but many online "poker regulars" also employ tracking software, which will record (and remember/display for future sessions) all manner of statistical data for you and every opponent you face. You can specify in your tracking software settings which stats you want displayed for your opponents (because there's only room for so many numbers next to each avatar).
I would estimate that perhaps even a majority of those who actually "thrived" (that is: profited by any significant degree) in online poker anywhere in the last 10-12 years probably employed such software at least part of the time.

EDIT: I don't doubt he has an awesome memory, though, fwiw. jsia (poker having been one of my other obsessive interests, once upon a time....)
All-Time NE Fantasy Team
PG-Chauncey Billups (06-08)/Terry Porter (91-93)
SG-George Gervin (78-80)/Danny Green
SF-R. Barry (67-70)/Bruce Bowen (04-06)
PF-Ho Grant (92-94)/D. Cowens (74-76)
C-D. Robinson (94-96)/Kevin Willis (92-94)
Bill Sharman (coach)

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